In the margins of the 41st International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC), the Office of Information and Data Protection Commissioner held at the Centre for Openness and Dialogue (COD) an official 41st ICDPPC side event under the theme “Data Protection in Digital Economy: Third Countries vis-à-vis the GDPR”.
Upon entrance into application of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU, its broad impact has been identified in many areas, mainly in technology and innovation.

The aim of this session was to establish a dialogue in raising the awareness and enhancing engagement of all the stakeholders involved in the digital economy, in order to better address the challenges and the introductions brought about by the General Data Protection Regulation, thereby promoting consumer trust in the digital market. Panellists, local experts, representatives of the Competition Authority, Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, National Agency of Information Society, and international experts with renowned expertise in the domain, as well as a representative of the Swiss Federal Personal Data Protection Authority, suggested their standpoints, current practices, identified issues and possible solutions in achieving GDPR compliance at national legislation level.

Their presentations, and their interaction with the audience alongside the active discussion among panellists, proposed that the interplay among local stakeholders that are subject of the changes brought about by the GDPR is equally relevant as the relative legal changes to reflect the introductions of the GDPR are. Moreover, the co-operation between data protection regulators of third countries with their EU counterparts is ultimately essential in the context of exchanges on the current steps that are being taken in meeting the GDPR standards and unifying practices in implementing these standards.

Finally, attendees expressed their wish for more similar events to be held, on the grounds of the relevance and the broad scope that the digital economy and the state of the art technologies represent. The side event attracted broad interest, both from local authorities, and the 41st International Conference’s delegates.